When Nik Quesnell isn’t playing golf or on a bike trip, he’s probably indoors “spinning” on a stationary bike or doing hot yoga. Nik, who is retired, has been active all his life. Today, thanks to bilateral hip replacement surgery, he’s enjoying his favorite activities without the pain that used to accompany them. “I’m so glad I did it sooner rather than later,” says Nik. “I didn’t give up anything except during the two months of rehab.”
When Nik decided to look into hip replacement surgery, his physician at the Virginia Mason Lynnwood Medical Center referred him to a Virginia Mason orthopedic surgeon in Seattle. It was clear from the comprehensive assessment Nik was given that osteoarthritis had worn away his hip joints and this was the source of his ever-increasing pain. Bone was rubbing on bone.
But even with the aching pain, Nik hesitated. “I was only 59 and had never had major surgery,” he recalls. “It’s hard to think about giving up a part of your body.” While he was considering the surgery, Nik did a lot of research and decided that when he had his operation, he wanted an “anterior” rather than a “posterior” procedure.
Virginia Mason is a leader in anterior hip replacement surgery in which the surgeon accesses the hip joint from the front, as opposed to the lateral (side) or posterior of the hip. This allows the doctor to replace the hip joint without detaching muscles or tendons. Advantages are thought to include a quicker recovery time and return to normal daily activities.
Nik found that to be true when he had his first hip replaced in August 2013. He was out of the hospital in 48 hours and within two months was back at his one-hour spinning class. Enjoying full sessions of hot yoga and playing 18 holes of golf.
One year after the first operation, Nik had his second hip replacement. While the recovery took a little longer, it followed much the same course. For Nik, joint pain is now a thing of the past. His experience with Virginia Mason was so positive he signed up to volunteer with “Peer Partners,” a unique program where former patients visit patients who are going through similar experiences. “Peer Partners,” says Nik, “is just one more way that Virginia Mason puts the patient first in everything they do.”
One thing Nik says he has learned from being a Peer Partner is that most patients wish they had addressed their joint problems earlier. “A lot of people live for years with pain,” says Nik. “After their surgeries, most people are like me, happy they can now do the things they love without that pain.”
In addition to Peer Partners, Nik volunteers for NEST (North East Seattle Together), a community organization that does home repairs and chores for seniors to help them remain independent and in their own homes. He’s happy that, with his new hip joints, he’s once again able to do carpentry and yard work as well as climb ladders to clean out gutters for NEST clients. “They need the help and it feels good to be able to give it.”
This story originally appeared on VirginiaMason.org Find answers to your questions about hip replacement from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) or schedule a consultation with a Virginia Mason orthopedic surgeon by calling